Tag: process of writing

Falling into Wonder

leaves

Great blog posts are a little like the holes covered in smooth water on forest pathways where your foot sinks in deep and you’re falling and twisting; adjusting to the shift in equilibrium. Recovering your balance, you might find that you’re facing a different attitude direction now, and the path of your day has changed, ever so slightly.

That makes me think about trajectory. Turning your foot a few degrees in a new direction will not change your world overmuch if you aren’t planning on going very far. But making a tiny adjustment to how you walk through your life can, over the long haul, bring you to a very, very different destination from the one you thought you were heading towards.

Starting out a day with a steaming bowl of Crap Soup with a side order of Unfortunate Circumstances will always set your internal GPS on an expressway to Meltdown City. Reading something that changes your mind, just a little, is a reset move that lets you input a new route for your wreck-of-a-day, putting you on course for a much better destination.

As I wander the Internet, especially on my own Crap Soup days, I love to find myself stuck, neck deep in someone’s clever pile of wonder. Their carefully chosen words and images encircle me like tendrils and hold fast. I can go no further until I’ve drank my fill of what they are offering and when I am released, I am just a little bit different. I have new words now. I have something in my head that wasn’t there this morning and I’m on a new quest to find a little altar in my mind or in my living space where I can put it on display.

I hope that’s happening to others when they trip on a search word and fall, head first into this blog site. I hope they push themselves up and find they have a little bit of something I wrote stuck in their hair and it’s talking to them, like some enchanted leaf; turning their head just a tiny bit and sending them on a trajectory towards more and more wonder.

Even when I am too busy to post here, like I have been lately, I notice that new people are dropping by all the time. I love to get your emails and feedback! I really love that you all tend to come back again, now that you know the way here. There are footprints of nearly 1500 of you on this blog and closing in on 6,000 on the other, over at http://laughingmyrearendoffliterally.blogspot.com/

I’m imagining myself as a wood sprite, positioned in the trees above and watching as unsuspecting visitors stumble in to this joint. It delights me to know when you’ve gone back into the archives and dug out some words that you want to take home with you.

I recently had the weird experience of having someone who was conducting an expensive self awareness workshop at a university be handed a little memory card I had done with some powerful questions written on it. They had a little epiphany and asked if they could copy it and hand it out to their attendees because it was exactly what they needed to hear. Discussions of pending book projects and intellectual property were had. I decided that while I wait for the publishing world’s response to my manuscripts, I would push ahead and get the Three Questions project going. And so, I have dug a new small web hole that you’re invited to trip into. Soon, I’ll have some products (wallet size cards) for the project and you can carry them to remind you of how easy it can be to communicate clearly with others. http://crystalclearmeaning.wix.com/crystalclearmeaning

I’m doing a fair amount of wandering whenever I have free time, reading through your sites too and sharing the gems and shiny things with links back to where you dropped them. It’s always a really good day when I trip over a diamond and fall into a big pool of wonder.

BLOGPOST Hearts, Walls and Getting the Flow of Creativity Moving Again

I’m a new member of writer and author groups. By new I mean, three weeks. Not new to writing though, I’ve been writing for so long that the home made blue jean maxi skirt with fabric inserts I was wearing when I wrote my first poem has come in and out of fashion several times since then.

My past writing has been the, under 1,000 words for magazine articles, poetry, marketing copywriting, essays, opinions and blog post style. Now tackling novels, I am experiencing something new; The Wall. I have three manuscripts going right now; each in suspended animation at around 22,000 words. The one I most want to dive into, a Celtic druid time travel MS, had me in an artistic tizzy. When I would pick it up to see if the muse is home, I swear I could hear elevator music. It’s annoying. The pace, the flow, the stamina required, the seven thousand gallons of coffee for novel writing is just, well, different. I wanted to find some other writers to speak with about the literary walkabout I needed to embark on in the Outback of my mind. Where do I start? What should I take along? What should I leave behind? Will there be spiders? (Please, say no.) Without a clue what my first step should be in finding the commiseration I was seeking, I resorted to doing what I usually do when I’m stuck in a creative whirlpool. I did something completely unrelated and hoped like hell while I was distracted, a way would open up for me and I’d be awake enough to see when it happened.

A friend of mine calls the powers in charge of serendipitous stuff, “The Set Designer’s Of the Universe.” She says they sit up above us and move things and people and opportunities around so we either don’t crash into it or we do…on purpose. She says they laugh their asses off when we finally smack our forehead and catch on to what they’ve been up to.

A few weeks into just doing things unrelated, I saw a post on Facebook from a local artist, Barb Hranilovich. Her work is amazing and during a food bank event planning job a few years back, I got the chance to paint ceramic plates with her one day. She worked so fast and her vision was clear and steady and within the short time we had, she made three different pieces that were astonishing in their detail. In March, I saw her Facebook post on a workshop she was teaching on the art of making little felt heart sculptures. She called it HeartFelt. I have lots of heart things around my home and heart shaped jewelry. Love them. Perfect. Love her. Love her work. I’m in. As I sat at the table in the Grove Gallery in East Lansing learning and making my own little felt heart, we women started to yak. The woman across from me told us all about a new group she helped form; the Capital City Writer’s Association. A whiplash inducing head swivel locked my eyes to hers and she told me about their first meeting (the very next Saturday) and how to join. Tunnel…light!

At the meeting, they talked about Romance Writers of America and the group leader casually mentioned that there is a local chapter that we might want to look into and by the way, romance writer’s as a genre, are the most organized author groups in the world. I heard that. I wrote it down. A few days later I went online and joined RWA and just for the heck of it, I looked up the local chapter, MMRWA. Their monthly meeting was in a few days. I saw the address of the meeting and did another whiplash double take. Not only was the meeting just a couple days away, not enough time for me to start stacking projects and excuses in front of it so I couldn’t get there, it was less than two miles from my house. What? Ok. I can follow a sign that’s lit up that big and in my face.

I went to the meeting not knowing what to expect and just “happened” to sit next to author, Diane Burton. She writes sci-fi. SCORE! I am, arguably, the biggest sci-fi fan in the Multiverse. At the end of the first meeting, she did a brief head’s up on a talk she’ll be giving at the next meeting. It will be on book jacket blurbs and elevator pitches. She gave us the home work of writing a short blurb and tag line describing the book we’re working on. My grown son was in town for a weekend visit so I tossed the homework to the family and said I was having trouble doing it. After giving a five minute synopsis of the story so far, the boy child cocked an eyebrow at me and said, “She holds the future. He holds her heart.”

WTF? Did he just do that in ten seconds? Yes. Yes, he did. We talked a bit about storylines, characters and situations I was wrestling with and as if someone poked a hole in the dam holding back the water of creativity, it just started to flood out. I am now deep in Celtic Druid Time Traveling World Changing Romantic storytelling.

Here’s where I lay out the weird parts of this story. The Facebook post for Barb’s workshop drew me in because I saw a photo of a heart she had made. The book I have been working on for several years is called The Grove. The gallery where I took the HeartFelt workshop is called The Grove Gallery. I was, literally, holding my heart, when the woman told me about the CCWA. The CCWA led me to the MMRWA and an open chair on a corner led me to a seat next to Diane who gave the home work that I took home and with an open heart, shared with my family who led me to a breakthrough in writing progress of the book.

So, to wrap this up, here’s my advice for when you hit your own wall. Look around you and pay attention to what excites your heart. Follow it wherever it takes you and while you go, pay attention. Following the heart will always lead you to exactly where you need to be to do what is next for you. Trust your heart. It’s a text message from The Set Designer’s of The Universe and in case you didn’t know this already, they always have your very best interests at heart.

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